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Panel Delays Vote On Domestic Partner Benefits

The Michigan Civil Service Commission Wednesday postponed action on a proposal that could allow same-sex partners or other adults living with state employees to be covered by state-paid health insurance.

The proposal could cover boyfriends, girlfriends or other adults who have lived with a state employee for at least 12 months. The plan would also cover dependents of the other adults.

State Representative Rick Jones says he objects to the plan because Michigan is already facing a $1.6 billion dollar problem in 2011 and cannot afford the additional cost.

"The governor's office estimated this would cost $5.7 million dollars. However, I think it would be even higher because I've heard from many state employees that say they would take these benefits, allow their friends to move in, and have health insurance," Jones said Wednesday.

The proposal is on hold now until January.

The state had agreed in 2004 to begin covering same-sex benefits but implementation has been held up because of court cases and other concerns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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